We now have a new blog! We will continue to post stories, pictures, and videos of an informal nature on this blog, however going forward we will post all entries on faith and art on our Community Arts Tokyo website. Please visit us and be sure to subscribe: www.communityarts.jp/blog.




The date has just been announced for our next arts conference. Registration opens soon!


December 25 at Grace City Church Tokyo

Koto - Chieko Ozawa
Cello - Yoji Kohara
Organ - Roger Lowther
Voice - Winton White


The Scatterbrained Santa Claus

One of the best known Christmas songs for children in Japan is "Awatenbo no Santa Claus" ("The Scatterbrained Santa Claus"). I recorded Kaizen singing part of it. A free English translation (by me) of the meaning is below. (The song is full of fun onomatopoeia which I won't even try to translate...but the one of Santa hitting his head on the chimney on the way down is pretty funny!):

The Scatterbrained Santa Claus
Came to my house
And it wasn't Christmas yet!

The Scatterbrained Santa Claus
Tried peeking in my chimney
And then he tripped and fell in (and made his face all black)!

The Scatterbrained Santa Claus
Started to dance when he landed
Because what else would you do in that situation!

The Scatterbrained Santa Claus
Said sheepishly, "Well, I guess I'll be back!"
And then returned to where he came from!

The Scatterbrained Santa Claus
He sure is a funny old bearded man!


Christmas Party Singing

At the end of a Christmas party at our house for the Grace City Church Tokyo worship team and set-up team, we sang some Christmas carols together.


Children's Piano Studio Party

This December, we had a party for all the children who are studying piano. The teachers are Yukari, Ellie, Abi, and I. During the party, Yukari pulled out her pianica and started to play some jazz! Coen and I had a fun duet together.


Turkey and the Kingdom of Heaven

Since I was little, I have always loved the smell of turkey cooking in the oven on Thanksgiving. At breakfast, I would ask my mom, “Can I have some turkey?” She would answer, “It’s not ready yet.” I would ask again at lunch time, “Can I have some turkey now?” Again she would respond, “It’s still not ready.” The smell of the turkey made me long for the turkey. My mouth watered for the turkey. I could not wait for that Thanksgiving meal that I knew was coming but was still being prepared.

Lately, my son Aidan has been playing the Prelude in C Major by J. S. Bach. It is one of the most famous pieces written for the piano, because it is profoundly beautiful. But it is also incredibly simple. If you stop to study the piece though, you find that there is a surprising amount of ugly dissonance. The broken chords cause pain to our ears, functioning like the smell of turkey baking in the oven and driving us to that resolution which Bach eventually gives. In the end, the journey of dissonance and pain contributes to the beauty of the piece. Without it, the final chord would lose all meaning and significance.

What is the role of art in mission? It shares the gospel truth that beauty will come out of pain and suffering. Art makes us yearn for resolution to the dissonance in our lives and assures us that one day we will indeed find it. Art gives us that mouth-watering sense of already tasting what is to come. Art makes us yearn for that perfect peace promised by the coming of the kingdom of heaven.

As you smell turkey baking this Thanksgiving, remember the ultimate banquet that is being prepared for you that will fulfill every desire. May our Thanksgiving feast and fun whet our appetites for the ultimate satisfaction of fellowship around God's table.